Saturday to feature second weekend of A Handmade Christmas in Shepherdstown
SHEPHERDSTOWN – For the first time, A Handmade Christmas in Shepherdstown has been expanded to two Saturdays in the holiday season – Nov. 24 and Dec. 15 – at the Town Run Tap House, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Although the first weekend is past, local residents have one last chance this Saturday to find Christmas gifts at the event, which will have all but one completely different vendors from the Nov. 24 event, according to event organizer Michelle Kwiatkowski.
“I have so many artists that were wanting to do it. We started planning this last February, so it gave me a lot of time to do everything I needed to for it,” Kwiatkowski said, mentioning she will be selling her homemade soap with her company, the Wild Rose Soap Company, on both weekends.
According to Kwiatkowski, as with the Nov. 24 event, about 20 artisans are expected to sell their wares this weekend.
“We’re trying to capture last-minute Christmas shoppers with this second date. We did pick our crafters for their Christmas-themed products, for people who want a handmade Christmas decoration,” Kwiatkowski said about the juried event, mentioning the price range of items is expansive, “from $3 ornaments to higher-end items, like art.”
Kwiatkowski believes the event is popular with crafters and community members, because a higher standard of craftsmanship is expected when all of the products at the show are handmade.
“When you do shows, you do so much better selling things that are all handmade. I’m sure many of our crafters will be up until midnight on Friday, making things for the show,” Kwiatkowski said, with a laugh.
Along with expanding the show to two weekends this year, Kwiatkowski has also banded together with local charity JJBags, by giving five extra raffle tickets for door prizes to attendees who donate new duffel bags, backpacks, coats, hats, gloves, stuffed animals, pajamas, small blankets and single-player games to the organization at the event.
“I’m always doing some sort of charity project, and wanted to do that with this event. JJBags is pretty new, they just started this year. They collect items for foster care kids – there are about 6,600 kids in our state foster care system,” Kwiatkowski said, mentioning most foster children don’t have a duffel bag to their name, and have to carry their items from home-to-home in plastic garbage bags. “People can come and bring stuff to donate, or just visit JJBags’ table to learn more about them.”
Kwiatkowski won a grant from the Jefferson County Visitors Bureau for A Handmade Christmas in Shepherdstown this year, which was used to market the event around the Eastern Panhandle. The remainder of the grant, according to Kwiatkowski, will be donated to JJBags.